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Why did obsidian make the changes to the casting and rest system?


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People write about the resting and vancian spell casting mechanic as if you had to hit some narrow range in the middle, which wasn't true at all. Even on PotD there was actually a wide range of acceptable spell use pacing and resting that could get you through pretty much every dungeon without having to do the walk of shame. It required you to take advantage of some of the systems -- potions, scrolls, food and efficient spell casting -- but it wasn't anywhere near difficult to achieve this. But that's what players *should* have to do on the highest difficulty setting.

 

Moreover, as I've said before, it's clear Obsidian did not design most of the map sections to be cleared in one go -- that's why so many quests invent reasons to revisit areas.

 

Again, people continue to rely on hyperbole when talking about Pillars or BG.

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yeah excactly. Even is you ran out of resting supplies all you had to do was adventure a little but more and most times you would find some in treasure loot.

 

I never once in the whole time i played POE1 became frustrated due to running out of spells. 

 

They absolutely need to give druids and priests 1 more spell to select at each level to make them more flexible. They are to limited at the moment

Edited by no1fanboy
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I can only tell about my experience, and I can definetely say casting in PoE1 (and more so in DnD games) feels a lot more rewarding, impactful and straight up cool.

 

Partially because every class got access to its own 'spells', so casters stand out far less, partially because casting lost this 'opportunity cost' associated with limited resources. But most of all, because I as a player have a limited amount of time and attention during any particular encounter, and in Deadfire I need to spread it thin over all party members equally while before I could funnell it into 1-3 party members leaving others on autopilot. Let's say I have attention and patience span to use 6-8 active abilities per average encounter. Previously I would micromanage 2 casters first to turn the whole engadement to my favor than clean up with martials. Now that every class can contribute to 'tilting the scales' equally, what's the point of casters anyway? Flavour?

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I actually prefer Icewind Dale 2 and NWN1&2 to any other dnd game.

Why? Because of:

Combat, spell system, bard classes which were different in each of the three games, but much better than in BG1&2 series.

 

 

I'm magic user, but I never felt satisfied with POE 1, Deadfire somehow hit the right spot.

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I actually prefer Icewind Dale 2 and NWN1&2 to any other dnd game.

Why? Because of:

Combat, spell system, bard classes which were different in each of the three games, but much better than in BG1&2 series.

 

 

I'm magic user, but I never felt satisfied with POE 1, Deadfire somehow hit the right spot.

NWN1 is probably my most hated game because they *entirely* ignored the ECL and CR systems for the 3.0 game they were building off of. It was horrendous. 4+ CR1/3-1/2 enemies fighting one level 1 character unless you hired the random rogue guy. I hear NWN2 is better though, I didn't give it the fair shake I should have.

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I actually prefer Icewind Dale 2 and NWN1&2 to any other dnd game.

Why? Because of:

Combat, spell system, bard classes which were different in each of the three games, but much better than in BG1&2 series.

 

 

I'm magic user, but I never felt satisfied with POE 1, Deadfire somehow hit the right spot.

NWN1 is probably my most hated game because they *entirely* ignored the ECL and CR systems for the 3.0 game they were building off of. It was horrendous. 4+ CR1/3-1/2 enemies fighting one level 1 character unless you hired the random rogue guy. I hear NWN2 is better though, I didn't give it the fair shake I should have.

 

 

Was CR actually useful in 3rd? I have DM'd a bit in 5E and it is pretty much useless. CR1s can be death machines, even if the party is out of that tier, while many CR3s can get killed easily by lower tiers players.

 

NWN2 is very good, with the expansion, MOTB, being one of the best written RPGs ever, and the only good epic level campaign I have played.

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It all depends on where you're coming from. If you're more willing to roll with the punches and come out bruised, and to enjoy the challenge of thinking about the dungeon as a dungeon, then Deadfire kills a lot of that. If you hate the feeling of running out of something or not being at your optimal state, then Deadfire will be much better.

 

I see this expressed a lot and I don't understand it, since all PoE2 does is replace the occasional frustration of being out of rest supplies with the **almost every encounter** frustration of being out of casts.

 

To the OP, I feel your frustration. Wizard seems to be still powerful enough to make it worth single classing, but druid is boring and feels quite limited in PoE2, whereas it was a lot of fun in 1.

 

 

I mean, I love attrition, but I often hear people say, I hate not being able to cast my best and most awesome spells every single fight. POE2 certainly solves that problem.

 

On average, I'd say you're able to throw a lot more spells and abilities around per encounter in Deadfire, unless you played POE1 by resting after every single fight.

 

More relevantly to the OP's complaint, I do think that spell selection for spellcasters has become a bit too limited in Deadfire. The issue is, if you give them huge spell choice flexibility, what do you take away as a tradeoff? Number of casts? That is obviously unpopular to people who like to fireball every 10 seconds. Mana? Mana has never seemed a particularly interesting system in any game, for me.

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I really like the free spell per power level that Priests and Druids get. I'd love to see Wizards get a free spell per power level based on their subclass, like Evokers getting an evocation spell each power level. It would give more incentive to using a subclass for Wizards.

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My favourite magic system in pen&paper is Shadowrun's - you can cast all you like, but after every cast, you need to resist drain, i.e. damage. Depending on the power level of the spell (which you can choose), that damage is stun or physical. The power level also determines how easily you resist this damage.

 

What you need to manage as a caster then is your power levels - you can cast low powered spells somewhat safely, but if you cast at higher spell power, you risk harm - which might be a reasonable tradeoff depending on the encounter.

 

Wouldn't work with Deadfire's health system as it is though. Don't know if it's ever been tried in a CRPG other than Shadowrun on Sega Genesis.

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Endure. In enduring, grow strong.

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I prefer per encounter casting.

I hated having to save my spells in original POE just because I didn’t want to rest every 10’ (felt really immersion breaking to me).

In the end I ended up almost never using my best spells since I wouldn’t know which fight would be the most difficult one.

On the other hand a system that lets you use spells/abilities per encounter needs to be more balanced between spell levels and resource usage otherwise it risks lower level abilities becoming totally obsolete.

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On the other hand a system that lets you use spells/abilities per encounter needs to be more balanced between spell levels and resource usage otherwise it risks lower level abilities becoming totally obsolete.

Hard to do, but possible with correct scaling. Magic Missile from BG is a great example, that spell was useful from the beginning of BG to the end of ToB.

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I prefer per encounter casting.

I hated having to save my spells in original POE just because I didn’t want to rest every 10’ (felt really immersion breaking to me).

In the end I ended up almost never using my best spells since I wouldn’t know which fight would be the most difficult one.

On the other hand a system that lets you use spells/abilities per encounter needs to be more balanced between spell levels and resource usage otherwise it risks lower level abilities becoming totally obsolete.

You didnt have to save your spells you could just rest and get more

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Was it like that in PoE1?

Spells and many abilities could only be used x times per rest. There was no limit to how many times you could rest, and no pressing time limits like a Table Top RPG. So it was mostly just personal preference how long you wanted to go without resting.
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I actually prefer Icewind Dale 2 and NWN1&2 to any other dnd game.

Why? Because of:

Combat, spell system, bard classes which were different in each of the three games, but much better than in BG1&2 series.

 

 

I'm magic user, but I never felt satisfied with POE 1, Deadfire somehow hit the right spot.

NWN1 is probably my most hated game because they *entirely* ignored the ECL and CR systems for the 3.0 game they were building off of. It was horrendous. 4+ CR1/3-1/2 enemies fighting one level 1 character unless you hired the random rogue guy. I hear NWN2 is better though, I didn't give it the fair shake I should have.

 

 

Was CR actually useful in 3rd? I have DM'd a bit in 5E and it is pretty much useless. CR1s can be death machines, even if the party is out of that tier, while many CR3s can get killed easily by lower tiers players.

 

NWN2 is very good, with the expansion, MOTB, being one of the best written RPGs ever, and the only good epic level campaign I have played.

 

Its still useful in 5e but requires even more eyeballing because they made things so swinging to allow quick adaption to groups, plus they do it in some conjunction with the old 'worth Z XP' style thing of 2e, which can be used to estimate too. The CR also tends to assume something like an even or beneficial playing field for the monster - so a weak melee combatant may be a high CR but it may be assumed they're a high CR because they involve additional creatures who somehow empower or guard that one, making it more fitting of its CR without the additional difficulty. Sortof silly since they don't tend to give those tips to new players but creatures like a a Rakshasa, regardless of their CR, shouldn't be played out of 'crafty bastard' focus without some  improvement/trade off. Because they fold pretty quick against good brawlers with even one magic sword.

 

In 3.5, while still swingey because they assumed things like wealth by level and certain magic items and bonuses by a certain level,  it was at least useful for ball parking. And CR's were built around a party of 4 and they were having you play a solo character. *single CR1/4ths* should have been a normal encounter in that equation - give or take a little strength in weapon or unique character, and then building up to groups of mooks. Just starting you out made leveling a slog. Then they also nerfed mage armor so it was like +1 point of AC but across many different kinds of bonus, instead of all counting as an Armor bonus. Something frustrating because it got mostly overwritten early on by an amulet or a Monk/Sorc's natural deflection. So they couldn't even get low level spells right.

 

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I mean, I love attrition, but I often hear people say, I hate not being able to cast my best and most awesome spells every single fight. POE2 certainly solves that problem.

 

On average, I'd say you're able to throw a lot more spells and abilities around per encounter in Deadfire, unless you played POE1 by resting after every single fight.

 

More relevantly to the OP's complaint, I do think that spell selection for spellcasters has become a bit too limited in Deadfire. The issue is, if you give them huge spell choice flexibility, what do you take away as a tradeoff? Number of casts? That is obviously unpopular to people who like to fireball every 10 seconds. Mana? Mana has never seemed a particularly interesting system in any game, for me.

 

I did rest more frequently in PoE1, but hardly after every fight, and I certainly felt in PoE2 that I couldn't cast much. Without multiclassing I would be standing around or reduced to scrolls for half the fight. I don't play a caster to have to play melee half the time.

 

The opposite side of being able to use your favorite spells is that with more limited spells, there are only a couple that are really useful at least for druid. I hated having to spam healing spells because my priest wasn't keeping up and then being out of anything else to cast.

 

I really like the free spell per power level that Priests and Druids get. I'd love to see Wizards get a free spell per power level based on their subclass, like Evokers getting an evocation spell each power level. It would give more incentive to using a subclass for Wizards.

I would rather either choose them myself or have the whole toolkit open up like in PoE1.

 

I'm glad that the endurance thing and the resting items are gone. PotD with 2 resting items, sometimes you had to run out of the dungeon and buy some.

As I said up above, you're just trading frustration almost every fight with an occasional frustration. I don't get it.

 

Also, it may be nitpicking, but the spell animations in PoE1 were cooler, at least for druids. Returning Storm felt like a real storm.

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I'm glad that the endurance thing and the resting items are gone. PotD with 2 resting items, sometimes you had to run out of the dungeon and buy some.

I would like to see Health return in a “per encounter” form, so you cannot infinitely heal within a single battle. Something generous that resets every encounter, but not infinite.
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I play dnd with my colleagues and despite getting used to the system, limited spell uses between rests are unrealistic as hell. I mean if as a bard with the lute (to charm everyone) or necromancer with diamond (to raise the dead) I can meet all requirements to perform the spell, why such spell has limit usage? That's why mana system is less ridiculous.  

 

The fluff always explains this if you bother to actually read it.  It will vary from setting to setting, but a typical 3.5E-era system, magic for Wizards (who LEARN magic, it's not intuitive or instinctive like it is for sorcerers and bards - a sorcerer is an artist, while a wizard is an engineer) is pretty complex.  Your spell slots are essentially an abstract way of measuring a Wizard's ability to store nearly-complete spell formulas in their mind, ready for rapid access - you gain bonus spell slots from having a high Intelligence score, and you also gain spell slots through experience levels (representing the Wizard's increasing ability to manage many different spells.)  Wizards are also able to fill an empty, but unused, spell slot with a brief rest (typically 15 minutes or so) by studying their spellbook.

 

The Wizard's mind is like a gun's magazine.  The magazine has to be loaded, and you only have as many shots as the magazine has capacity for AND which are loaded.  A Wizard is all about planning, all about rewarding the player for thinking ahead - and a good Wizard NEVER fills up all of their spell slots unless they know, for certain, exactly what the upcoming day will hold (some editions allowed you to empty a slot and then refill it with something else, but this takes a substantial amount of time.)  In exchange for this requirement for the player/Wizard to think ahead and take time to prepare, Wizards gain the most spell slots per level of any arcane spellcaster, advance spell levels the fastest of any arcane spellcaster (tied with Sorcerers and substantially ahead of Bards, Summoners, etc), and gain access to bonus feats from a limited list of options - typically metamagic feats (which generally increase the spell's level by a specified number of levels in exchange for improving it somehow - a Maximized Fireball, for example, would occupy a 5th level spell slot instead of a 3rd level spell slot but would automatically do the maximum possible damage) and things like Combat Casting, Arcane Armor Training, and so on.  Wizards are also able to learn pretty much any spell as long as they are able to read the magical formula and copy it into their spellbook.  Some settings even allow Wizards to copy down spells that they are currently unable to cast.

 

The Sorcerer's mind, on the other hand, is more like a belt rather than a magazine - once it's loaded, that's all there is to it.  Sorcerers are generally fluffed to have magic in their blood, so their spellcasting is intuitive and instinctual.  Rather than prepare a formula in their mind, the Sorcerer just... does the thing, so the Sorcerer may cast any spell on his list, without preparation, so long as he has a spell slot of the appropriate level available.  Because Sorcerers don't have to study to learn magic, they have better weapon proficiencies than Wizards do, but they also don't get the bonus feats.  Sorcerers also get fewer spell slots and know very few spells - they cannot learn or store spells in a spellbook like a Wizard, and they must pick spells from a list at each level.  This tends to make Sorcerers a bit more reliant on consumables like scrolls and wands to have the same toolkit as a Wizard, but because they don't need to prepare their spells, this makes Sorcerers better for players who don't want to have to plan ahead so much and makes them more versatile if the party finds itself in a fight it wasn't ready for.  Sorcerers also tend to get special abilities and effects, and bonus spells known, from their bloodline as a replacement for the Wizard's bonus feats, and as a way to compensate for their few known spells.  Note that Bards are in a similar boat as Sorcerers, as far as their spellcasting goes - it's intuitive, not learned.

 

Pathfinder and later editions also tend to give Wizards things to do if they run out of spells, especially if they choose a specialization school.  These abilities will generally be equivalent to a weak spell, but do scale with character level and are probably still better than the Wizard trying to plink things with a crossbow.  It's expected that Wizards be spending a lot of their gold on consumables, anyhow, since they generally have much less of a need for enchanted weapons, armor, etc than martial classes do.

 

 

 

All this is to say, it's fine to feel Vancian magic isn't enjoyable from a gameplay perspective.  I greatly prefer it to the half-assed garbage present in Deadfire because it made an already shallow system about as deep as a dried out riverbed, but to each their own.  But saying that Vancian magic doesn't make sense in fluff means you just haven't bothered to actually read anything.

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If you always end games with billions of stuff because you feared to run out of them, then sure, your playthrough's going to be far more tedious than other people's. That really is on you, especially if this isn't your first RPG. Doesn't make you a bad person, you can certainly keep doing it if you like, but nobody inflicted it on you.

 

It all depends on where you're coming from. If you're more willing to roll with the punches and come out bruised, and to enjoy the challenge of thinking about the dungeon as a dungeon, then Deadfire kills a lot of that. If you hate the feeling of running out of something or not being at your optimal state, then Deadfire will be much better.

 

Or other cases, of course. There was that guy in page 1 that just wanted to go wow I cast big huge fireballs all the time! And that's certainly a popular opinion.

 

Often it feels like the solution is easy when you only think about your own playstyle, and what would cater to it best. The trouble is the wide variety of playstyles these niche games have tried to support.

 

The trouble is that Obsidian went with a system that doesn't match up to pretty much the rest of the game they built for some horribly retarded reason.  Pillars was an attrition-based game, because it was meant to be an homage to Baldur's Gate and the d20 CRPGs of old while still being its own thing.  Deadfire is a continuation of that design, except they threw away most of the attrition-based mechanics and design... and then didn't replace them with anything.  So you just end up with a really, really shallow game that becomes incrediby boring as soon as the honeymoon "wow everything is so new and shiny!" phase wears off.  I guess some people find it fun, but I don't - I went into PotD expecting to be challenged, but instead every encounter was exactly the same in terms of how I handled them and it was just a bland "are my stats better than theirs?" comparison together with abusing very limited AI (often in ways that a DM would likely never allow.)  Was PotD difficult?  Sure, up to a point (I'm sure 1.1 and 1.2 have fixed this)... but it wasn't making me think.

 

It bothers me that despite how much knowledge and experience there is at Obsidian, they cooked up something this bad.  I mean, christ, Tower of Time is a CRPG made by a small group of randoms with a shoestring budget and it has vastly superior encounter-based mechanics.  Terrain manipulation and interaction is a key facet of gameplay and is often a deciding factor in victory or loss (especially on the harder two difficulties), the game is designed AROUND the enemies having limited AI rather than apparently wishing that the player wouldn't see how basic it is and play against it (the Almighty Doorway works, but only for a limited amount of time due to a variety of mechanics that generally discourage the player from standing around too long), etc.  I'm not going to say it's the best such system I've seen, but it's orders of magnitude better than the garbage Obsidian served up with Deadfire.  Probably because they designed the game around such mechanics from the outset, rather than Obsidian trying to go a complete 180 in design philosophy to cater to the whims of what's likely a minority of players (unless they were trying to poach from Original Sin's cabbage patch or something - Baldur's Gate players and those with fond memories of the IE games likely wouldn't balk at the idea of dealing with Vancian magic, after all.)

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Pillars was an attrition-based game, because it was meant to be an homage to Baldur's Gate and the d20 CRPGs of old while still being its own thing. 

Which of the popular old d20 cRPG had an attrition-based gameplay? Because it sure as hell wasn't Baldur's Gate.

 

I'm actually really glad that they removed those dumb resting limitations and health/endurance split in Deadfire.

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I liked old rest system for priest/druid classes, what the fun to spam same priest/druid spells again and again ? Now I don't see any difference between Priest/Druid role ?

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Solo PotD builds: The Glanfathan Soul Hunter (Neutral seer. Dominate and manipulate your enemies), Harbinger of Doom (Dark shaman. Burn and sacrifice, yourself and enemies for Skaen sake)

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